Activity Overview

As students read, a storyboard can serve as a helpful character reference log. This log (also called a character map) allows students to recall relevant information about important characters. When reading a novel, small attributes and details frequently become important as the plot progresses. With character mapping, students will record this information, helping them follow along and catch the subtleties which make reading more enjoyable!

Clicking "Use This Assignment" will copy both the example above and a blank template into your account. Feel free to use as is, or to edit for the level of your class. Printing it as worksheets, for your students to complete while reading is a fast and easy way to incorporate this character map into your classroom.

Major Great Gatsby Characters

  • Nick Carroway
  • Jay Gatsby
  • Daisy Buchanan
  • Tom Buchanan
  • Myrtle Wilson
  • Jordan Baker

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a character map for the major characters.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify the major characters in The Great Gatsby and type their names into the different title boxes.
  3. Choose a character from the "1900s" tab to represent each of the literary characters.
    • Select colors and a pose appropriate to story and character traits.
  4. Choose a scene or background that makes sense for the character.
  5. Fill in the text boxes for Physical Appearance, Traits, Relatives, and Love Interest.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/11-12/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/11-12/6] Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement)


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Character Map Template
Create a character map of the characters in the story. Put the character's name in the title boxes and choose a character and scene to represent each one. As you read, take notes on the characters by answering the questions.
33 Points
25 Points
17 Points
Character Picture & Scene
The characters and scenes are both appropriate for the book's characters.
Many of the characters and scenes match the book's characters.
More than half of the characters and scenes do not match the characters in the book.
Accuracy of Notes
Most of the information of the notes is correct.
Many of the notes have correct information, but some are incorrect or missing.
Less than half of the information of the notes is correct and relevant.
Work is complete, thorough, and neat.
Most of the sections of the character map were at least attempted and work is presentable.
Character map is unfinished and/or disorganized.

How to Teach Students to Draw a Comparison and Contrast Among Characters to Analyze Their Decisions


List Down All the Characters

Ask the students to list down all the main characters and side characters in the novel. This list will help them put everything into a frame.


Introduce Venn Diagrams

Introduce the concept of Venn diagrams among students to find the common character traits among characters and draw a visual comparison as to how some characters are similar and different to each other in some ways.


Divide Students into Groups

Divide the students into different groups and assign them two or more characters on which they have to make the Venn diagram. After every group is done, they can briefly explain the similarities and differences among the assigned characters to the rest of the class.


Perform Analysis

After students are done the teacher can ask them to select a few decisions the characters took because they had similar characteristics.


Reflect and Connect

Ask the students to reflect as to why certain character traits make people take certain decisions. The students will also be able to connect with the decision-making process of certain characters. Ask the students if they can relate to certain traits of the characters and if they have seen such real-life examples.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Great Gatsby Characters

Who are the Main Characters in the novel “The Great Gatsby”?

The main characters in the novel The Great Gatsby are Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, Nick Carraway, Tom Buchanan, and Jordan Baker.

How would you describe the relationship between Daisy Buchanan and Tom Buchanan?

At the start of the book, Daisy and Tom Buchanan are wed. Their relationship is strained throughout the novel due to Tom's infidelity and their contrasting social levels. Later on, Daisy’s involvement with Jay also causes great tension among the characters.

What is the role of Jordan Baker in the story?

Jordan Baker is introduced as the best friend of Daisy Buchanan who is the love interest of Jay Gatsby and wife of Tom Buchanan. Jordan Baker is also the love interest of Nick Carraway. She develops a romantic relationship with Nick Carraway, and her cynicism and dishonesty give her character depth.

What kind of change do characters experience as we approach the end of the novel?

Throughout the course of the book, a number of characters experience profound changes. The decisions Daisy makes have a significant impact on her relationships, while Gatsby's fixation with Daisy drives him to construct an opulent façade. As he gets more involved in their lives, Nick's opinions about the characters gradually change.

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